Obamacare increases, not decreases, emergency room visits

Well, that's the reverse of what was supposed to happen. Obamacare was supposed to cut the health care costs by prompting the un- and under-insured to visit their preventative health care providers instead of always going to the emergency room.

Reports the New York Times:

Supporters of President Obama’s health care law had predicted that expanding insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits because people would go to primary care doctors instead. But a rigorous new experiment in Oregon has raised questions about that assumption, finding that newly insured people actually went to the emergency room a good deal more often.

More evidence that even the smartest utopians can't plan for everything; that centralized control doesn't always work and that the unexpected always is ready to jump up and bit you in the ass.

The study's abstract is here.

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Filed under: Health care reform

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  • The True Believers will say it is working unto death. Their own, sadly, if they need a procedure not covered under ObamaCare or not allowed by Health and Humans Services.

  • You notice that the study dealt with "newly insured" people. These are people who have not had covered medical care and don't have a primary care physician. I wonder what will happen when they begin working with a physician.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    I wonder why anyone would believe that the poor, who are often less educated, less mobile and single parents, would begin working with a physician. Physician's that will be few and far between, involving long waiting periods and new expectations on self-hygiene/health responsibility. My neighbor runs a health van for the poorest communities in Chicago and no amount of pleading gets people to take advantage of his free services, but they will find the E.R. in a pinch.

    To echo Mr. Davis, what is most concerning is the cognitive dissonance of 'the true believers'. To decrease this dissonance they will continue to destroy the integrity of economies that the producer class of this country use, instead of simply re-examining their own assumptions.

    They would stunt the litter to spare the runt, instead of just encouraging the runt.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    "They would stunt the litter to spare the runt, instead of just encouraging the runt." Interesting phrase, "encouraging the runt." It is similar to the phrase often used by animal breeders, only they talk about "culling the runt." But, I am sure you would never advocate this for your fellow citizens.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    I just looked up your 'culling the runt', it appears it is exactly the opposite of encouragement and often entails killing.

    I must beg your pardon if I have disturbed any sense of well being.

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